What does the monastery name “Hagia Sophia” mean?

Sophia is a Greek word that means Wisdom, Hagia Sophia means the Divine Wisdom. This name indicates the Person of Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Divine Wisdom.

According to our Founder’s desire, the monastery was called “Hagia Sophia, the Divine Wisdom”. It was named after the great Cathedrals of Hagia Sophia in Kyiv and in Rome because the monastery was planned to be the continuation and reflection of a long Christian tradition in this country.

  • The Icon of Hagia Sophia, the Divine Wisdom, has the Virgin Mary with the Incarnate Son of God, the Divine Wisdom. The Book of the Proverbs says: “Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars”. House indicates the Virgin that became the dwelling of the Son of God.


Why this name?

First of all it was the desire of our Founder who wanted the monastery to be named after the Mystery of Incarnation, the most important for our Religious Family of Incarnate Word. Sophia, the Divine Wisdom, is the Incarnate Son of God.

The name is also connected with the testament of our Patriarch Josyf Slipyj who said the following words  while consecrating Santa Sophia Cathedral in Rome: “I give you this cathedral as the sign and symbol of the ruined and dishonored Ukrainian temples of God, the most important ones among them: the cathedrals-witnesses of the ancient Christianity – Hagia Sophia Cathedral in Kiev and St. George Cathedral in Lviv! May this Cathedral of Hagia Sophia become for you the sign of renaissance and construction of new temples in our Motherland and the encouragement to build new churches in your place of living!” Thus, Hagia Sophia Cathedral, according to Cardinal Josyf Slipyj, has a double meaning: it symbolizes the Christian roots of Ukraine and the undestructiveness  of the Divine Temple.

So, the monastery in Burshtyn is named Hagia Sophia, the Divine Wisdom:

in order to indicate its connection with the ancient Sophia of Kiev, the symbol of a powerful Kievan Rus state, its great Christian princes, whose traditions we want to continue;

because Sophia is the symbol of “undestructiveness of the Divine temples and encouragement to build new churches in our Motherland”. When the Superiors had to decide about the foundation of the monastery in Burshtyn, the main argument was given by our Founder, Rev. Fr. Carlos Miguel Buela, who said that the monastery in Burshtyn was the symbol of the great work of the Church and it was necessary to reconstruct it. It would prove that the Church is alive and continues its great work.


The main intention of the monastery

The main intention of prayers of our contemplative sisters is expressed by the following words of His Holiness St. John Paul II: “The Church must breathe with her two lungs!” Breathing with two lungs, Eastern and Western, expresses the unanimity of spirit among people that belong to different Christian traditions. So, our contemplative sisters sacrifice their lives and say their prayers for the unity of the Christians.

The sisters also pray and sacrifice their lives for all the good intentions that you may ask for.